Priority Pass has advised cardholders that they will lose access to all United Club lounges worldwide from May 15, when United withdraws from as a partner in the program. This includes the United Club lounge at Melbourne International.
In its monthly newsletter update to members, Priority Pass writes:
We regret to inform you that United Club lounges, one of our partners, have unfortunately chosen to no longer participate in the Priority Pass lounge access program, effective May 15th 2015. While this does mean that our Members will no longer have access to United Club’s 49 lounges (41 located in 26 airports in the US and 8 at international locations) we are pleased to advise that alternative lounges are immediately available at 17 of the 34 airports affected (10 in the US and 7 at international airports) meaning minimal disruption for Priority Pass Members traveling through these locations.
Priority Pass has only had a small footprint in Australia, having previously access to the Virgin Australia lounges a few years back. With the latest removal, Priority Pass members have access to only one lounge in Australia, and that is in Cairns – the Reef Lounge in Cairns International Airport .
While there may be alternatives in the US market, it leaves people in Melbourne with no alternative lounge.
Priority Pass is a paid lounge access program giving cardholders the ability to access participating lounges worldwide, regardless of the airline they are flying on the day. In Australia, many people have held the card as it is a complimentary offering with several of the premium card offerings – such as Westpac Altitude Black, Citibank Signature and some American Express Platinum cards.